Aussie Queer Youth on Snapchat For LGBTQIA+ youth, growing up can be tough enough without the added pressure of feeling different, alone or even unsafe.

Despite much progress, three out of four (75%) Australian LGBTQIA+ youth still experience some form of bullying or discrimination.

Experts suggest being visible, making friends and feeling supported are among the best ways to promote life-affirming social inclusion, which can promote positive mental health outcomes.

In celebration of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT, Sunday, May 17th), volunteers from Minus18, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation engaging LGBTQIA youth, collaborated with Snap Inc. Australia to create a series of Augmented Reality (AR) Lenses in celebration of IDAHOBIT using the company’s Lens Studio desktop app

“While recent social distancing requirements have removed the ability for many to connect psychically, it is important for young people to continue to celebrate their individual identity and the wider queer community,” says Minus18 CEO Micah Scott.

“LGBTQIA+ youth are still twice as likely to be diagnosed and treated for mental health illnesses in Australia2, which is why it is important that we look for new ways to tell our stories, build friendships and engage with the community. Snapchat is already the preferred platform for many youths, which is why it made sense to partner with Snap and create these amazing AR Lenses for IDAHOBIT,” adds Scott.

Snap’s IDAHOBIT Lenses follow the company’s recent release of Here For You, an in-app tool that provides Snapchatters access to professionally accredited tools, resources and support contacts relating to mental health and wellbeing. Locally, Snap has partnered with PROJECT ROCKIT to deliver its Here For You content.

“As the leading communication platform for youth in Australia, we remain committed to offering a safe and engaging platform that allows you to be your authentic self while communicating with your close friends,” explains Kathryn Carter, General Manager, Snap Inc. ANZ.

“We work hard to create a positive environment for our community and ensure Snapchatters have access to credible, fact-based information. Tools such as Here For You, our local partnership with anti-bullying organisation PROJECT ROCKIT and now our collaboration with Minus18 help create an environment on Snapchat that’s inclusive, authentic, and fun,” Carter shares.

The IDAHOBIT Lenses will be available on Snapchat from Tuesday 12th May 2020.